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Parenting While Black

Autisum is not a whites only disorder

Panelist Bio


LaTasha Barr’s-Lewis

Over the last 20 years, Latasha has used her love for others and her entrepreneurial spirit to fuel her passion and energy to build strong brands that support and empower individuals in marginalized communities. She and her twelve-year-old son Camden, are co-founders of Cam’s Coffee Company, the first organization to create gainful employment opportunities specifically for individuals with varying ability levels in the Piedmont Triad area in North Carolina. In 2018 Latasha founded H.O.P.E. which provides programming and services to HELP parents take OWNERSHIP of their children’s future using PRACTICAL PARENTING PRACTICES to produce EXCEPTIONAL results. Through H.O.P.E. she has worked with parents, community partners, and educators to reimagine the possibilities for individuals with disabilities. As an accomplished educational consultant and parenting coach, Latasha holds degrees’ in early childhood education, elementary education, science education, and is completing a doctorate in Learning, Instruction, and Innovation.


Irishia Williams

I’m Irishia Williams, founder of Educational Ties. I am passionate about helping parents who have children that receive special education services through their local school district. Here at Educational Ties it is our mission to help support and create meaningful ties between families and specialized school programs by educating parents & building confidence to bridge gaps in their child’s individualized education plan through coaching and empowerment solutions. We are excited about helping the community gain knowledge and confidence! I ️have over 25 years of experience as an educator. In the later 13 years of experience is where my expertise as a Education and Program Specialist has been developed, refined and cultivated. This experience involves the teaching and training of preschool through adult learners with varying needs, including, but not limited, to: Autism, Learning disabilities, Other health impairments, Intellectual disabilities, Emotional disturbance just to name a few. Through my special education training, I am also versed in analyzing a variety of educational assessments that assist in the educational process. As an educational consultant and parent coach, I have the expertise to assess education services, classroom policies and the effectiveness of these services for students with IEPs. The assessment of various services allows us to report on the effectiveness of these current systems within a students education program. From there, we work with families to develop comprehensive strategies, confidence and advocacy skills to improve educational quality and equity.


Mary E. Nesby

Homestead Borough Council Ms. Nesby was elected to Council in 2017 and is currently running for her second term. Mary’s first priorities was to change the composition of the borough council strategically handpicking follow members of the Homestead Council to ensure integrity, accountability, and leadership. Ms. Nesby is a small business owner, mother, and active community leader. Mary runs a professional mobile notary service out of the Entrepreneurial Women’s Incubator known as the Hollander Building. She is also the owner/proprietor of Mary’s Little Lambs LLC. Ms. Nesby is all about community leadership, youth mentoring, entrepreneurship, and networking. She is always looking for new ways to teach others and share as much of her experiences as possible. The local leader is continually expanding her network and work with other individuals interested in advocacy. Ms. Nesby partnered with the University of Pittsburgh and become a facilitator in training and a key stakeholder on their creating peace study, where local leaders come together to create a curriculum for youth advocacy. In recognition of her community involvement, Mary was 2019 recipient of the Harriet Tubman Shining Star Award for her commitment and service to her community. Mary is the loving mother of three sons. She is a very proud mother and has dedicated her life to helping her children and many other children in her community. Advocacy became a passion of hers after one of her sons was diagnosed with PDD, which is a disorder associated with Autism Spectrum. Through the challenges of her son’s life, Mary herself had to become not only his voice but also his advocate and much more. In the past 19 years, Mary has to taken on the role of student as she had to learn about all the many levels to this disorder and teacher, teaching her son how to live, deal, and cope with his disorder in our society. Ms. Nesby will continue to educate, encourage, and build up a foundation of support for all who seek her help. If you are interested in finding out more information about Mary Nesby please contact her at /(412)512-9683

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